• GunsVirginia Beach shooting reflects trend toward more powerful handguns

    By Alex Yablon

    Like most mass shooters, the Virginia Beach gunman used a handgun. And like a growing number of American gun-buyers, he had a preference for some of the most powerful weapons available on the market. The use of semiautomatic handguns since 1990 has outpaced an already growing gun market.

  • PerspectiveResponding to the rise in domestic terrorism: Don’t forget prevention

    The April attack on a synagogue in Poway, California, was the latest demonstration of the rise in extremist violence in the United States committed not by “jihadists” inspired by ISIS or other international terrorists, but by white supremacists, neo-Nazis or other right-wing groups. Eric Rosand writes in Lawfare that with the Tree of Life Synagogue attacks still fresh in many Americans’ minds, post-Poway discussions further highlighted how the resources and tools available to prevent right-wing extremist violence or domestic terrorism in the United States are dwarfed by those available to deal with the jihadist-inspired violence that data shows to be a much lesser threat. Rectifying this imbalance requires urgent attention.

  • Ghost gunsGhost guns are everywhere in California

    By Alain Stephens

    Feds say nearly a third of firearms recovered in California are homemade, unserialized, and untraceable. Experts say the accessibility of ghost guns is aided by a cottage industry of retailers selling nearly completed firearms that require no screening to purchase.

  • School shootingsUNC shooting has these things in common with other campus shootings

    By Jillian Peterson and James Densley

    The 30 April shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte follows a familiar pattern of mass shootings at college campuses in the United States. If authorities better understood these patterns, they may be able to prevent future shootings.

  • PerspectiveTransnational organized crime and national security

    Traditional organized crime, ranging from the Italian-American mafia to street gangs, has long been a target of American law enforcement efforts. Eric Halliday writes in Lawfare that unlike purely domestic organized crime, transnational organized crime, defined by the Justice Department as groups that pursue criminal activities across geographic boundaries, has profound national security implications. The FBI warns that transnational organized crime poses a diverse array of national security threats related to border security, government corruption both in the United States and abroad, energy and “strategic material” markets around the world, and “logistical and other support to terrorists and foreign intelligence services.”

  • GunsThe darker side of the dark web: Weapons trade

    Debates over gun regulations make headlines across the world, but there’s an underground operation for weapons that has drawn very little attention – until now. Researchers crept into the dark web to investigate how firearms are anonymously bought and sold around the world.

  • School safety“Hardened” schools are not safe from gun violence

    Hardening of schools seems to be a questionable endeavor, given the dearth of evidence regarding effectiveness, says an expert. A comprehensive review of the literature from 2000 to 2018 regarding school firearm violence prevention, found no programs or practices with evidence that they reduced such gun violence.

  • School safetyHow Columbine became a blueprint for school shooters

    By Jillian Peterson

    When twelve students and one teacher were killed in Littleton, Colorado twenty years ago, it not only became what at the time was the worst high school shooting in U.S. history. It also marked when American society was first handed a script for a new form of violence in schools. Since the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School, we identified six mass shootings and forty active shooter incidents at elementary, middle or high schools in the United States. In twenty – or nearly half – of those forty-six school shootings, the perpetrator purposely used Columbine as a model.

  • CrimeKnife-crime assault data to help forecast fatal stabbings

    Knife crime data from a 12-month period could be used to help forecast the London neighborhoods most likely to suffer a fatal stabbing the following year, according to latest research.

  • CrimeStudying Perry Mason to combat “innocence fatigue”

    Forensic science historian Professor Ian Burney is studying the influence of Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of renowned TV attorney Perry Mason, in a bid to reveal the roots of the fascination with stories about wrongful criminal conviction. Burney hopes the study will help better understand some of the challenges facing today’s worldwide “innocence projects.”

  • PolicingIt is safer to be a cop today than 50 years ago

    There is no doubt that policing is a dangerous profession. But is it safer to be a cop today than it was fifty years ago? Yes, according to a study that analyzed police officer deaths (felonious and non-felonious) in the United States from 1970 to 2016.

  • GunsDo armed guards prevent school shootings?

    By Alex Yablon

    The presence of guns in schools is a fact of life for millions of American children. Forty-three percent of public schools had an armed law enforcement officer during the 2015-2016 school year. Does increasing armed school security could reduce deaths from active shootings or deter the attacks in the first place? Experts say the data is not encouraging. Guns have stopped some mass shootings — but not usually in schools.

  • GunsFirearm deaths surges in school-age children

    Firearm-related deaths in school-age children are increasing at alarming rates in the United States where homicide rates are about 6- to 9-fold higher than those in comparably developed countries. This epidemic poses increasingly major clinical, public health and policy challenges.

  • Terrorism pastRecaptured Italian former militant Battisti admits 1970s murders

    Former communist militant Cesare Battisti has admitted four murders carried out in the 1970s, during Italy’s so-called “Years of Lead,” weeks after being jailed in Italy for the killings that were part of a failed bid to spark a far-left revolution.

  • GunsMore mass shooting in states with permissive gun laws

    States with more permissive gun laws and greater gun ownership have higher rates of mass shootings, and a growing divide is emerging between states with restrictive versus permissive gun laws. According to a new study, researchers found that in most years permissive states had higher mass shooting rates compared to restrictive states.